Congress summary: Global Health Governance at the European Health Forum Gastein

Global Health Governance was one of the key topics during last year’s European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG). The EHFG is the leading health policy event in the EU and it provides a major platform for decision-makers from public health & health care. The official congress summary has now been published and is available online.

During the parallel session on Global Health Governance, the European approach to the global health issues of our time were discussed. A central element of the discussions was the acknowledgement that health has lost much of its national sovereignty. Globalisation and a complex network of actors and determinants require a different and novel approach to global health governance. However, bureaucratic challenges stemming from fragmented activities often hinder developments. The panellists agreed that WHO and the EU need to take responsibility to address the upcoming challenges by leading collaborations which promote health as a human right. This also requires working together with the private sector, which plays a large role in the current changes and power shifts in the global architecture.

High level speakers and panelists included Zsuszanna Jakab, Regional Director of the the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Marc Sprenger, Director of the European Center for Disease Control, Srinath Reddy, President of the Indian Public Health Foundation and Yang Gonghuan, the former Vice Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control. Together with experts from the European Commission, the European External Action Service as well as from the Member States, industry and academia, all speakers provided excellent contributions to this highly dynamic and complex field.